KOBOKO — The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) has on Tuesday September 24 acquired 78.2 hectares of land at Oraba, in Koboko district for the development of Oraba Industrial park.
The park is strategically located in an area that is suitable for investors targeting to manufacture goods for Uganda and export to DR Congo, South Sudan and Central African Republic among other regions.
Koboko district is located on the extreme corner of northwestern Uganda, its bordered by South Sudan in the north, Yumbe district in the east, DR Congo in the west and Maracha district is the south.
The district is 154 km from Kampala, only three km from the DR Congo border and 17km from Uganda’s border with South Sudan.
Koboko district chairman Nginya Hassan Said and the State Minister for Investment Evelyn Anite handed over the land title to UIA Board Chairman Dr. Emely Kugonza
The function took place at Oraba village, Kuluba sub-county, Koboko district on Saturday.
Minister Evelyn Anite said that the location of the park at the corner of Uganda where the three countries of Uganda, DRC, and South Sudan meet makes the district enjoy advantages of two international borders which promote cross border business among the three.
“Before the war in South Sudan, Koboko town and Oraba border point were a beehive of activities where traders from all over the region were traveling in and out of Koboko to do business in either South Sudan or DRC and this lost glory is to be restored with this new industrial park,” she said.
No industry in Koboko
Minister Anite pointed out that what is in the district currently are small cottage industries of carpentry, welding, grinding and rice hurling.
“And yet there is a lot of demand for manufactured goods across the border in South Sudan, DRC and Central African Republic for beverages, hardware and general merchandise, pharmaceuticals and clothing,” .
“Most of these manufactured goods are transported from Kampala and other parts of the region making it expensive,”
“Aware that Orabo town is a gateway to local and regional markets, the district identified this land covering Nyoke and Oraba parishes in three villages of Ropoli, Kakanya, Drabara, and Lokajo,” said LCV chairman Nginya Hassan.
“The land is 78.2 hectares and the district has already got a land title in the names of Koboko district local government,”.
Dr. Emely Kugonza explained that if UIA attracts ten industries and each of them employs 1000 youths, this park will create 10,000 direct jobs and 2000 indirect jobs.
“The park would create 30,000 jobs for youths out of the 53900 youths aged between 18-30 years in the district and this is in line with the UIA’s 2016-20121 Strategic Plan of creating one million jobs,” he added.